The rules for mastering the etiquette of eating bread

One of the greatest joys in life is a warm piece of fresh bread with butter or olive oil. So it can be difficult to show restraint when the bread basket arrives at the table while you’re at a restaurant or dinner party. Before you tear into Olive Garden’s entire basket of breadsticks, there are a few subtleties of bread eating to master, according to Nikesha Tannehill Tyson, etiquette consultant and author of the Swann School of Protocol Shreveport.

While most of us have been grabbing breadsticks and dinner rolls with reckless abandon all this time, Tannehill Tyson says there are rules for mastering bread-eating etiquette, starting with slowing down and taking your bread step by step. “The bread should be removed from the serving plate and placed on your bread plate,” she explained. “Bread should not be removed from the serving plate and eaten, make sure the bread is placed on your bread and butter plate and eaten from there.”

Read more: 7 Butter Brands You Should Buy and 7 You Shouldn’t

It’s all about hygiene

Sliced ​​bread in a lined basket – Eurngkwan/Getty Images

However, taking the time to place just one Parker House Roll on your bread plate isn’t just bread etiquette. Nikesha Tannehill Tyson, author of the book “Going Public,” says the bread plate is also the ideal place for butter and olive oil. She said, “Take a portion of butter from the butter dish and place it on your plate of bread and butter.” She continued: “Break a small piece of bread (hold it between your fingers) and butter it. Butter each piece as you eat it. Do not apply butter to the entire portion of bread.” According to her, bread should be considered an appetizer that is eaten piece by piece.

Just because you break bread with a group doesn’t mean you also have to share sprouts. According to Tannehill Tyson, keep hygiene in mind when enjoying a bread basket or loaf with other people. Always use the knife that came with the bread for cutting and slicing, and only touch the bread you plan to eat. “When bread is served in a basket, it is usually wrapped in a cloth. Be sure to use the cloth when cutting the bread to ensure good table hygiene,” Tannehill Tyson said.

Exceptions to the rules

Loaves of bread in a lined basket

Loaves of bread in a lined basket – Alle12/Getty Images

However, not all bread – or bread service – is created equal. Nikesha Tannehill Tyson says when it comes to things like toast, there are exceptions to the rules. “The whole piece of toast can be buttered and eaten without breaking it into bite-sized pieces,” she said. Continuing, she added: “Hot bread can be buttered all over to allow the butter to melt.”

If you are eating bread served with any sort of dipping sauce, such as oil or vinegar, each place setting should have a plate for the dipping sauce. If you are already using your small plate for the bread, you can request an extra plate for the sauce. If you have a date or are eating with family and friends, Tannehill Tyson says, “It’s okay to share the same dipping plate or place a small amount on your bread plate and then pour over appetizers.”

Additionally, there are some do’s and don’ts if you eat foods with sauce. Although it’s perfectly polite to eat sauce with your bread, use a utensil. “It’s okay to ‘mop up’ the sauce with your bread with your fork, never with your fingers,” Tannehill Tyson said. She then clarified that it was a bad way to “clean your plate” with a piece of bread. Next time you want to jazz up your dinner (and maybe the buns themselves, too), keep an air of decorum in mind so everyone gets a bite of bread while still keeping the event a little more civilized.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.

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